Author: Chloé Valdary

Dear White People, Black People—And All People

When Netflix’s Dear White People made its debut in April, 2017, the show immediately impressed viewers with the complex emotional multitudes it contained—showing its characters to be what author Cheryl Strayed once described as “flawed, and capable of redemption.” The plot focuses closely on the inner lives of black students at Winchester University, a fictional, predominately white Ivy League school that originally was brought to life in a 2014 film of the same name. Creator Justin Simien, who also wrote and directed the film, demonstrates that there is always more to people than what meets the eye. Coleandrea “Coco” Conners is a young woman who adds weave to her hair and shortens her name in order to become accepted into a Black sorority. Is this an affirmation of black pride or the upholding of European beauty standards? Or both—or neither? When confronted by another student about showing up to a party where white attendees wore blackface, Coco says, “This might come as a shock to you, but these people don’t give a fuck about no …